Paperback: 424 pages
Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (July 29, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #82 in Books > Computers & Technology > Databases & Big Data > Relational Databases #620 in Books > Computers & Technology > Databases & Big Data > SQL #1292 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Database Storage & Design
Excellent book for learning SQL. This little books seems to pack a big punch in everything there is to know about SQL. There are around 200 to 300 sample queries, that start from the basics to nice fancy ones. You will learn about sub setting, functions, grouping, joins, sub queries, set operations, indexes, views, data definition language, and much more. For every topic you will get instructions on how its done in about the five most common SQL implementations.
There are several "software-independent" SQL books available. I thumbed through a number before landing on this one. I believe I got real lucky.I'm a research analyst at a large medical center. I pull data from various sources using SQL front-ends and stuff data into MS Access for analysis or additional manipulation. I needed an SQL reference for both parts of my job, understanding what I was getting from the hospital systems and writing better SQL in Access or imbeddded SQL in VBA code. This book serves my needs because it is a thorough reference and also because it has plenty of Access examples and tips.I'm also impressed with the layout of the Visual QuickStart Guide. It is very easy to find the information you are after and the bullet points are generally right on target with the details important to the task at hand. I haven't had to read the entire book cover to cover to do some work, and that's the point. When the author does interject himself, his comments are insightful and meaningful. An example, "Although SELECT is powerful, it's not dangerous. You can't use it to add, change or delete data... The dangerous stuff starts in Chapter 9."A great technical reference in a crowded field.
Anyone who uses SQL regularly knows that it's absolutely critical to understand nulls - you can't write SQL programs or interpret results without mastering them. In most of the SQL books that I've read, nulls are mentioned once near the beginning and not given much screen time afterwards - perhaps popping up in an example here and there. This book takes the different (and welcome) approach of weaving the implications of nulls throughout the entire text. In addition to null rudiments, this book addresses crucial issues such as detecting and counting nulls, how nulls give rise to three-value logic (true/false/unknown), when nulls are considered to be duplicates and when they aren't, substituting actual values for nulls and vice versa, how nulls sort, how nulls propagate through computations, which functions ignore nulls and which don't, how nulls affect joins, and how nulls cause problems in subqueries. The book also contains specific tips for Oracle, which (for some reason) considers empty strings to be nulls.
I am an entry-level C# developer that wanted to learn more about SQL. I knew the basics, but usually I would just use DataSets to do all of the work. I decided that I needed to delve a bit deeper into the SQL language. There are loads of books to choose from when it comes to SQL and I found this one to be a very good start. First, the price for this book is very low and don't think that means the quality is low. The material in this book is presented in a visual fashion which helped me immensely as I am a visual learner. You will learn everything from the basic SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE along with joins, creating dynamic tables, subqueries and a whole lot more. The author even points out differences in DBMSs SQL when they arise (such as you need to use # instead of ' with DateTimes in Microsoft Access)The author clearly points out that even someone with absolutely no programming or database knowledge can use this book, but I think that if you have absolutely no programming or database knowledge the book might be slightly intimidating. He briefly shows how the relational model works (and even says you can just skip the chapter if you want) If you are new then you should learn how the relational model works before using a language that works with relational databases (makes sense, right?).If you have absolutely no programming and/or database knowledge then I would probably pick up a good database book to start (I would recommend Database Design For Mere Mortals by Michael J. Hernandez) and then use a book such as this one for learning SQL. If you are a developer with minimal knowledge about SQL then this book is a great start.Overall, I still give this book 5/5 because the information he presents is very valuble for such a tiny dent in your wallet.
Generally technology books attempt to either provide a tutorial or a reference, rarely both. This book succeeds fantastically well in both categories. All aspects of SQL are covered: data types, statement creation, joins, operators and functions, subqueries, tables, indexes, views, and a brief section on transactions. This may not sound interesting yet, but the author does two things which make this book outstanding.The first is there is enough information under each topic and sub-topic that the index is eminently usable. When reading cover to cover it may get old to see some of the same footnotes repeated over and over again, but I realized that whenever I had to look up a topic, every shred of information I needed (or a reference to it) would be in that very same section.Secondly, for every topic, the author covers differences found within every major DBMS: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft Access and SQL Server, DB2, and Oracle. Syntax changes are noted, alternate functions or operators... everything! This is extremely handy if you ever change environments and need to know how something is done in the new platform.There is also a sample database to download and a ton of examples for every topic. You can work through this book like a workbook if you wanted to.There is very little information on database design or optimization, but as this is an SQL book and not a database book, I won't hold that against the author. This is a very user-friendly book and well worth the investment.